Mao has a bone to pick with his father. Ever since dad destroyed his SlayStation Portable and cost him millions of hours in saved progress, the outraged son has been plotting his revenge. But such vengeance isn't easily carried out when your father is the Overlord of the Netherworld. Disgaea 3's zany story, rewarding tactical combat, and unwelcoming attitude on the PlayStation 3 in 2008. Now, Mao's quest to avenge the actions of his demonic dad is available on the PlayStation Vita, with the same good qualities, and the same problems.
6370620The team that stays together, slays together.None
Yes, despite being spiffed up with a new subtitle and containing all the downloadable content made available for the PS3 version, this is essentially the same game that was released on the PS3 nearly four years ago. It certainly isn't any more accommodating to new players. A series of tutorials introduces you to the basics of Disgaea's turn-based combat, and the fundamentals are standard and easy to grasp. On each turn, you can move your characters around the field of play, attacking enemies, casting spells, using items, and so on. You need to take position into account; attacking enemies from the side or rear is more effective than attacking them head-on, and if you attack from an adjacent tile, your target may respond with a counterattack. (Spears let you attack from two tiles away, sparing you this danger.) By having several of your characters attack a foe in succession, you perform a combo in which the attacks become much more effective together than they would be individually.
But to get the most out of Disgaea's battle system, you need to go beyond the basics and start exploiting the system to your advantage. (After all, nobody ever said demons fight fair.) This means, for instance, moving a character next to another to aid with a powerful team attack, then retracting the character's movement and moving him again to perform an attack of his own.
You need every advantage you can get in Disgaea 3's tactically challenging battles, which frequently complicate matters further with special cubes called geo blocks. These imbue tiles with all manner of properties that may be quite beneficial to you, or to your enemy. Figuring out how to efficiently eliminate them can be puzzling in a way that's satisfying to work out, and doing so is often crucial for victory. It's consistently rewarding to exploit the various mechanics of this battle system to your advantage, but the game leaves discovering such opportunities up to you, and coming to grips with this complexity can be a daunting and time-consuming task.
Characters standing on adjacent tiles have a chance to help each other out with powerful team attacks.
Complexity isn't limited to the battlefield in Disgaea 3. When you're not fighting, you're typically roaming around Evil Academy, the Netherworld school Mao attends. There's no shortage of things to do here. You can spend the mana you earn in battle on character-enhancing skills, and on passive bonuses, called evilities. You can also venture into the randomly generated dungeons that exist within your weapons and armor, powering up that gear and leveling up your characters.